January 13, 2024

Joel Sartore

Boarding the Photo Ark

Go behind the lens of the National Geographic photographer’s project, The Photo Ark, which has documented more than 15,000 animal species and aims to save animals from extinction.

Joel Sartore

Boarding the Photo Ark

January 13, 2024

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is the founder of The Photo Ark, a multi-year documentary project aimed at saving animal species from extinction and protecting their habitats from destruction. The Photo Ark has documented more than 15,000 species to date. With his hallmark sense of humor, Sartore will share notable endeavors from his portfolio of stunning photographs to showcase the incredible diversity of life on our planet while inspiring us to take action in protecting it. In his words, “It is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity. When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.”

Format: Speech with Audience Q&A

“I really want to share with the world what biodiversity looks like at this point in time, while we still have most of what we arrived here with through evolutionary time. It all matters, and the small stuff, I would argue, matters most.”

– Joel Sartore

About Joel Sartore

Joel Sartore is an award-winning photographer, conservationist, author, speaker, and the 2018 National Geographic Explorer of the Year. He is also a proud Eagle Scout. Sartore specializes in documenting endangered species and landscapes around the world.

He is the founder of the Photo Ark, a 25-year documentary project that aims to help save animal species and habitats by supporting conservation efforts and inspiring action through education. Sartore and the Photo Ark are the subjects of the PBS special “RARE,” which follows his journey to photograph some of the most endangered creatures left on Earth.

He is a regular contributor to National GeographicAudubonGEOThe New York Times, and Smithsonian. Sartore has published several books, including “Photo Ark: A World Worth Saving,” “The Photo Ark Vanishing: The World’s Most Vulnerable Animals,” “Birds of the Photo Ark,” and “RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species.” In 2021, Sartore was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum and received the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography from the Sierra Club.

Sartore and his work have been the subject of many national broadcasts, including National Geographic’s “Explorer,” “NBC Nightly News,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Nightline,” NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” “PBS NewsHour,” “Fresh Air,” “60 Minutes,” and “TODAY.” This year, the U.S. Postal Service released 20 stamps featuring Photo Ark images of endangered animal species living in the United States.

Known for his Midwestern work ethic, Sartore is always happy to return from his world travels to his home in Lincoln, Nebraska.

How to Attend

With a Simulcast Room or flexible online subscription, it’s easier than ever to experience America’s largest nonprofit speaker series — either live at the Altria Theater or from anywhere in the world.

110 South 15th Street
Suite B
Richmond, VA 23219

Office: (804) 330-3993
Office Hours: 9am – 5pm
Program Day: 10am – noon

Presenting powerful voices so Richmond can learn. Empowering local voices so Richmond can lead.

The Richmond Forum and its partners are proud to support the Richmond Forum Speech & Debate Initiative, a community initiative to bring speech & debate programs to all of our region’s public schools.

The Richmond Forum is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization.

Site by COLAB

Altria Group Dominion Energy Davenport & Company, LLC Genworth Financial, Inc. Wells Fargo